New York City Transit Authority

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The New York City Transit Authority (also known as NYCTA, NYCT or simply the TA for Transit Authority) is a New York State Authority that operates buses and subway trains in New York City.

As part of a public image campaign, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has assigned "popular" names to each of its affiliates and subsidiaries. These popular names differ from the legal names, which are used in all contracting and legal matters, and are used on public notices, maps, publications, vehicles and stations. The popular name of the New York City Transit Authority is MTA New York City Transit. Current plans are to split MTA New York City Transit into MTA Subways (which would also take over MTA Staten Island Railway) and MTA Bus (which would also take over MTA Long Island Bus, and has already taken over from several private operators).

The Transit Authority, a public benefit corporation, was created in 1953 pursuant to Title 9 of Article 5 of the Public Authorities Law, as amended (the "TA Act"), for the purposes of acquiring the transit facilities then operated by the City and operating them "for the convenience and safety of the public." These facilities included the surface lines (buses and (until 1956) streetcars) and the IRT, BMT, and IND subways; before that date these services were managed by New York City's Board of Transportation. A major impetus of the formation of the NYCTA was to remove transit policy, and especially the setting of the transit fare, from City politics.

In 1968 the NYCTA, and its subsidiary, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA), were placed under the control of, and are now "affiliates" of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a public benefit corporation chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1965.

Although the Chairman and Members of MTA, by statute, are also the Chairman and Members of the Transit Authority and Directors of MaBSTOA, and the Executive Director of MTA is, ex officio, Executive Director of the Transit Authority, the Transit Authority has its own management structure which is responsible for its day-to-day operations. The executive personnel of the Transit Authority and MaBSTOA report to the President of the Transit Authority.

Over the years, NYCTA has been upgrading its network image, including safer trains and stations, new MetroCard Vending Machines, easier-to-read maps, and cleaner trains. Much of the fleet was filthy and covered in graffiti in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, and the cars had many breakdowns. Since 1989, all cars have been graffiti-free, and are well-maintained and air-conditioned or heated as necessary.

Upgrading the rail fleet includes replacement of older cars. With the phase out of the Redbird cars, the oldest equipment running on the IRT Division lines are the R62s, from 1983, which are only at mid-service life. Planning is underway for the selective replacement of cars in the 1964-1974 R32, R38, R40, R40M, R42, & R44 IND/BMT cars.

The current NYCTA fare for local and limited stop buses and trains is $2, increased from $1.50 on May 4 2003 Express Buses are $5.00 one way. For more information on fares see below. The MetroCard is the main form of fare payment, which is a magnetic stripe card purchasable in any amount from $2 to $80. 1-day, 7-day, and 30-day unlimited cards are also available. The famous token was phased out by 2003 and is now a collector's item. In November 2004, despite the recent fare increase to $2, the NYCTA announced it had plans to raise the fare again, and also close token booths at various subway stations. Subway riders argue that closing booths will make them vulnerable at night, and strand disabled riders and people with bikes and strollers.

Looking to the future, NYCTA is planning on replacing its older fleet of cars, some which date to the early 1960s. Plans also include the extension of the IRT Flushing Line to Manhattan's West Side in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and a Lower Manhattan Transportation Center at the new World Trade Center.

NYCTA fare history

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